Ah, beautiful Paris. For centuries this city has attracted the admiration of the world. The allure and charm of Paris captivate all who visit there.
Where can you discover the charm of Paris for yourself? Is it in the legacy of all the French rulers who worked to beautify their beloved city? Is it in the famous castles, palaces, statues and monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower? Can you find it in the world-class museums, such as the Louvre? Perhaps Paris’ allure lies in the zest and style of the Parisians.
When you visit Paris, you don’t have to spend all of your time visiting museums and monuments. They are certainly worthy of your time, but ignore them for a day. First take some time to look around and experience life in Paris. You’ll find it charming.
Take a stroll along the Seine River. Browse through the art vendors, colorful paintings. Peek through delicate iron gates at the well-kept gardens. Watch closely for the French attention to detail that has made France synonymous with good taste. You will see it in the design of a doorway or arch and in the little fountains and quaint balconies. No matter where you look, you will find everyday objects transformed into works by art.
Spend some time in a quiet park relaxing on an old bench. Lie on your back on the green grass. When you need refreshment, try coffee and pastries at a sidewalk cafe. Strike up a conversation with a Parisian. This isn’t always easy, though. With such a large international population living in Paris, true natives are hard to find these days.
As evening comes to Paris, enchantment rises with the mist over the riverfront. You may hear music from an outdoor concert nearby: classical, jazz, opera or chansons, those French folk songs. Parisians love their music. The starry sky is their auditorium. You can also hear concerts in the chateaux and cathedrals. In Paris the Music never ends.
Don’t miss the highlight of Paris evening: eating out. Parisians are proud of their cuisine. And rightly so; it’s world famous. Gourmet dining is one of the indispensable joys of living. You need a special guidebook to help you choose one of the hundreds of excellent restaurants. The capital of France boasts every regional specialty, cheese and wine the country has to offer. If you don’t know what to order, ask for the suggested menu. The chef likes to showcase his best dishes there. Remember, you haven’t tasted the true flavor of France until you’ve dined at a French restaurant in Paris.
After your gourmet dinner, take a walking tour of the floodlit monuments. Cross the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in the city, to the Ile de la Cite. The most famous landmark of Paris looms up in front of you the Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedral of Our Lady). Stand in the square in front of the cathedral. Here, you are standing in the center of France. All distances are measured from the front of Notre Dame. Every road in France leads to her front door. All French kings and leaders have journeyed here to commemorate important occasions and give thanks. Notre Dame is the heart of Paris and the heart of France.
Your visit in Paris has only just begun. You’ve just started to discover the charm of this old city. May the rest of your journey be unforgettable. When it is time to leave, you will go reluctantly. You will say with the French, “A bientot, Paris, a bientot!” (See you again soon, Paris!)